Almost four years ago, we embarked on what we believe to be the boldest housing plan in the city’s history, and arguably, the most aggressive affordable housing plan in the country. To achieve the ambitious goals of Housing New York, we fine-tuned one of the strongest public-private engines ever built to preserve and create housing at a faster clip than ever before – 78,000 homes and apartments financed already – and to reach more of the city’s lowest income households – a full third of our production to date.
To keep people in their homes, we’ve worked with the City Council to introduce universal access to legal representation and partnered with the state to go after owners who harass tenants. We’ve launched new programs to reach more of our city’s seniors, homeless residents, and people with disabilities. We’ve implemented far-reaching policies like Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability to ensure that a greater share of the new housing that is built across our city is affordable for generations to come. And we’ve expanded the tent to create more opportunities for Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises and non-profits, and promote innovative approaches like Community Land Trusts.
While we are delivering on the promise of Housing New York, the needs that we see on the ground require that we do even more. That is why last month, we joined the Mayor in Brooklyn to announce that we would complete our initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022.
And, building on the foundation we’ve laid, coupled with new tools and new funding, we are now positioned to generate a further 100,000 homes over the following four years. To achieve that vision, last week, we released Housing New York 2.0 - a roadmap for how we’ll achieve 300,000 homes by 2026.
This extended plan proposes new programs, new partnerships, and new strategies to think outside the box to help thousands more families and seniors afford their rent, buy a first home, and stay in the neighborhoods they love.
As the Mayor announced the other week, HNY 2.0 commits to serving 30,000 seniors over the extended 12 year plan through Seniors First—a three pronged strategy to preserve more of the senior housing originally developed through federal housing plans; to make homes more accessible to seniors and people with disabilities; and to develop new senior housing on NYCHA land.
To ensure residents have the choice to stay in their homes and neighborhoods, we launched a Neighborhood Pillars program to help non-profit and mission-based organizations acquire rent stabilized buildings and keep them affordable; a Mitchell-Lama Reinvestment Program to save the remaining Mitchell-Lamas, particularly those most at-risk of being lost to the market; and we will soon introduce a new Partners in Preservation initiative to develop anti-displacement strategies in neighborhoods identified as most at risk of losing affordability.
Through HNY 2.0, we’ll also:
Through new programs to help residents own a piece of their neighborhood, develop affordable and senior housing on underused lots at Mitchell-Lama and HUD-regulated complexes, and captialize on advnaces in technology and innovative design, HNY 2.0 will reach more New Yorkers like John & Jacqueline, Jie, and Olivia.
None of this work would be possible without strong partnerships, which is why so many initiatives at the heart of HNY 2.0 are about working with our partners across the affordable housing community and elected officials at all levels of government to tackle the very complex, very real problems confronting New York City.
This is an extraordinary moment in our city’s history. While there are many threats and challenges on the course ahead, we believe there are also profound opportunities, and our affordable housing engine is primed and ready to pick up the pace.
Now more than ever, we must build on the momentum that we’ve generated over the past few years. While the numbers to date have been heartening, the urgency of the housing crisis demands that we do more, and that we do it faster and more effectively than ever before. There is too much at stake; this is not about the number of affordable homes built or preserved, it is about the well-being of families, the stability of neighborhoods, and the competitiveness of our city’s economy. Ultimately, it is about the legacy we will leave behind as we work to ensure that the strength of this city endures for generations to come.
All of us at HPD and HDC send you our very best wishes for a happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday!